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Parliaments and Representatives

Democracy and the equal participation of men and women in the political arena are closely intertwined. No parliament or any decision-making body can claim to be representative without the participation of both men and women. As stated in the Universal Declaration on Democracy adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Member Parliaments in 1997, "The achievement of democracy presupposes a genuine partnership between men and women in the conduct of the affairs of society in which they work in equality and complementarity, drawing mutual enrichment from their differences."

Recent years have seen a steady increase in the number of women in parliament, though the world average of less than 22 percent remains far from the goal of parity between women and men. The election of women to the highest positions of state and government in several countries has also contributed to the changing face of politics.

While the road to election is a difficult one, the challenges for women do not stop there. Once women enter parliament or other bodies, they are faced with many new challenges. Parliament is traditionally a male-oriented domain where the rules and practices have been written by men. It is, therefore, an ongoing challenge to transform parliament into a gender-sensitive environment, to ensure that actions are gender-sensitive and to guarantee that gender is mainstreamed throughout the legislature.

World News

How gendered disinformation on social media harms Kenyan women seeking political office

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How gendered disinformation on social media harms Kenyan women seeking political office

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Gender-based violence has crept up in the digital era in the form of online violence against women and girls, especially affecting women with political ambitions. Part of this violence entails gendered disinformation. This form of disinformation uses gender stereotypes to attack women and influence debates by promoting certain political, social or economic goals.

Gender-based violence has crept up in the digital era in the form of online violence against women and girls, especially affecting women with political ambitions. Part of this violence entails gendered disinformation. This form of disinformation uses gender stereotypes to attack women and influence debates by promoting certain political, social or economic goals.

A conversation with... Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka, Poland

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April 25, 2024

A conversation with... Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka, Poland

As part of the IPU series 'A conversation with...', we interview parliamentarians from all over the world to find out who they represent and what motivates them.

As part of the IPU series 'A conversation with...', we interview parliamentarians from all over the world to find out who they represent and what motivates them.

World News

Togo: Women candidates campaign ahead legislative and regional elections

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Togo: Women candidates campaign ahead legislative and regional elections

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As Togo prepares for the legislative and regional elections on April 29, 2024, a significant number of women are in the electoral race, defying traditional norms and expectations.

With 2,348 validated candidacies for the legislative elections and 113 seats up for grabs, some 593 women are in the running for parliament and 438 women for the regional elections, according to figures obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission.

As Togo prepares for the legislative and regional elections on April 29, 2024, a significant number of women are in the electoral race, defying traditional norms and expectations.

With 2,348 validated candidacies for the legislative elections and 113 seats up for grabs, some 593 women are in the running for parliament and 438 women for the regional elections, according to figures obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Opinion | America stacks the deck against women in politics

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April 24, 2024

Opinion | America stacks the deck against women in politics

According to the U.S. Census, the majority of Americans are women, yet only 31% of Wisconsin State legislators are women. According to the Pew Research Center, there were 1 million fewer men enrolled in college than women this past winter.

According to the U.S. Census, the majority of Americans are women, yet only 31% of Wisconsin State legislators are women. According to the Pew Research Center, there were 1 million fewer men enrolled in college than women this past winter.

World News

More people will vote in 2024 than ever before … but where are the female candidates?

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More people will vote in 2024 than ever before … but where are the female candidates?

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With more people set to vote in elections than at any time in history, 2024 is being touted as a test of democracies’ strength around the world, but one thing remains in noticeably short supply – female leadership candidates.

With more people set to vote in elections than at any time in history, 2024 is being touted as a test of democracies’ strength around the world, but one thing remains in noticeably short supply – female leadership candidates.

World News

Informing a new strategy against sexism and harassment in the Parliament of Iceland

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Informing a new strategy against sexism and harassment in the Parliament of Iceland

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Iceland has an excellent record on gender equality, topping the World Economic Forum’s ranking of most gender equal country for 14 consecutive years. It was also the first country to elect a female president, Vigdis Finnbogadóttir, who won the 1980 presidential election as well as the next three. The Parliament, the Althingi, almost became the first European country to elect a female-majority parliament in 2021, but after a recount narrowly missed the target, with women winning 30 out of 63 seats.

Iceland has an excellent record on gender equality, topping the World Economic Forum’s ranking of most gender equal country for 14 consecutive years. It was also the first country to elect a female president, Vigdis Finnbogadóttir, who won the 1980 presidential election as well as the next three. The Parliament, the Althingi, almost became the first European country to elect a female-majority parliament in 2021, but after a recount narrowly missed the target, with women winning 30 out of 63 seats.

Failure to launch: Young women and political leadership in Australia

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April 15, 2024

Failure to launch: Young women and political leadership in Australia

Last week, former prime minister Tony Abbott called for more women to be represented in the Aust

Last week, former prime minister Tony Abbott called for more women to be represented in the Aust

Increasing women's role in Indian politics: Challenges persist

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April 13, 2024

Increasing women's role in Indian politics: Challenges persist

A historic law, the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, 2023, mandates the reservation of one-third of the total seats in the Lok Sabha, state Assemblies, and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi for women.

A historic law, the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, 2023, mandates the reservation of one-third of the total seats in the Lok Sabha, state Assemblies, and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi for women.